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Meechai airs disapproval of proposal to allow NACC eavesdropping, warns NLA of possible consequences


Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) chief Meechai Ruchupan on Tuesday showed his disapproval of the proposed authority of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to eavesdrop on phone conservations, and warned that if legislators allowed such clauses, it could have negative consequences for them.

His comments came after the National Legislative Assembly’s (NLA) law-vetting committee had agreed in the first intance to authorise the NACC, in the new organic law governing the agency, to eavesdrop on phone calls of politicians, government officials and the people in order to enhance its graft-fighting work.
Meechai said such power could be considered unconstitutional, given that new charter of 2017 protected the rights and freedom of the people.
The issue has nothing to do with recruiting capable people, but with empowering the committee, he argued.
While the NACC could enjoy such excessive power, the chief charter-drafter said he viewed that such a stipulation in the law would have a long-lasting impact and he considered it to be “rather inappropriate”.
However, if the NLA insisted on the eavesdropping stipulation, the CDC head said he would have to “let them be”.
Meechai added that his personal assessment was that it could have a negative impact on NLA members themselves if they were to proceed with the proposal from the body’s law-vetting panel.
The NACC bill is one of 10 organic laws about to be promulgated as required by the new Constitution.
The proposed eavesdropping authority is the newest proposal to have emerged, after the law passed the NLA’s first reading.
The law-vetting committee plans to table the scrutinised bill to the NLA for the second and third readings this week.

Published : December 19, 2017

By : The Nation